MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. - Burlington County Prosecutor Robert D. Bernardi announced that a Burlington City man pled guilty today in court to fatally smothering his 4-week-old son in November 2010 because the infant would not stop crying.
Under terms of the plea agreement, Eric D. Griffin, age 26, of 440 Saint Mary Street in Burlington City, N.J., will serve 12 years in New Jersey State Prison in exchange for pleading guilty to Aggravated Manslaughter. The plea was entered in Superior Court in Burlington County before the Hon. Michael J. Haas, J.S.C. Sentencing has been set for February 17, 2012.
Griffin was indicted in May 2011 by a Burlington County Grand Jury on one count of Murder (First Degree) and one count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Second Degree).
Background: The investigation revealed that on November 11, 2010, the defendant placed a pillow over the face of his 4-week-old son, Nyir Griffin, to stop him from crying. The defendant removed the pillow once the infant stopped making noise. The defendant then noticed the infant was no longer breathing and left the residence. Nyir was later discovered by his maternal grandmother, who found the infant unresponsive and attempted to revive him.
The baby was taken to Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County in Willingboro, N.J., where he was pronounced dead. Griffin was arrested on November 13, 2010.
Griffin is in Burlington County Jail on $750,000 bail, with no 10 percent option.